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  Listen Up! 5/22/02 Listen Up!

Wednesday, May 22

Earth, Wind & Fire, “Head to the Sky,” Columbia Records. Another typically excellent 70s EWF album, this one has some nice lite jazz lilt added to the funk grooves and the pop hooks. These guys really did have a great run back in the day, and every one of their records from that era sounds fresh and exciting after all these years.

The Golden Palominos, “Run Pony Run: An Essential Collection,” Fuel 2000. There’s nothing really essential about the Golden Palominos, that’s part of their charm. The ultimate side-project in the 80s, this outfit, led by drummer Anton Fier, was the place where big stars dropped in, cut a few tracks, and moved on. There’s Michael Stipe, John Lydon, Syd Straw, Arto Lindsay, and Jack Bruce, to name a few key vocalists. Some of the 80s drum machine and syn-drums sound a little dated, but the spirit of these songs is welcome. Fun goofs on pop and funk, with some beautiful moments.

Antipop Consortium, “ Arrhythmia,” Warp Records. Very odd avant-garde hip-hop sounds. Wild, far from pop, interesting, but ultimately ignorable.

Tom Morrell and the Time Warp Top Hands, “Jugglin’ Cats,” WR Records. Ah, Western Swing done without panache is kinda like Shakespeare done without Iambic Pentameter. In the latter, you’ve got heart but no form, in the former, you’ve got form with no heart.

--Steve Pick



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